Depending on where you come from, your typical Dutch bathroom may seem quite familiar or might not.
You will have your toilet and sink, the shower (and maybe a bath) may occupy the same room or be separate, and then there are the few quirky Dutch elements too that you might not be quite so used to …
1. Toilet calendar
Hanging on the back of the door, or maybe next to the toilet paper, this Dutch toilet calendar (called a verjaardagskalendar) is reserved for noting birthdays of those who matter. There is no reason to forget a birthday again!
These calendars are perpetual, with no days of the week or year, so they can be used over and over again, after all, birthdays are always on the same day, so why replace them? Is your birthday listed on someone’s toilet calendar? Don’t go adding to it if you are not listed!
2. A tiny sink and cold water
When we remodelled our downstairs bathroom, our plumber was perplexed at my request to have hot and cold water, after all, why would that be necessary? Well, to the Dutch it isn’t. Just wash your hands with cold water and plenty of soap and you are good to go.
Do be careful you don’t soak your pants when the water splashes out of the tiniest sink you will ever see, Dutch WC’s don’t have that much space, so they can only fit a small sink in them, sorry.
3. Washer and dryer
The Dutch are not the only country to have this toilet quirk, but it is very typical for the washing machine and dryer to be located in the main bathroom next to the shower, usually stacked on top of one another to save space.
It is actually pretty handy: dirty washing in the laundry, laundry into the washing machine, hang out to dry and back into the wardrobe. No more lugging loads of washing from upstairs to downstairs and back!
4. Inspection toilet
Typically found in older style bathrooms, the inspection toilet has a little ‘shelf’ in the bowl where your business will land before being flushed away, giving you the chance to ‘inspect’ it before flushing, should you wish too.
Fortunately, most modern Dutch toilets don’t come with a shelf, but you can still buy new toilets with this feature if you should so desire.
5. No fresh air
It is very common for Dutch WC’s to have either no window, or a window that does not open. This lack of ventilation is overcome by the can of spray air freshener you will find next to the toilet, which if needed, please use.